President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is doing its best in carrying out its mandate, considering the available resources.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the one-year ministerial performance review retreat in Abuja on Tuesday, Buhari asked the “Nigerian elites” to judge him fairly, and that ministers should vigorously defend the government.
According to him, more has been achieved with little resources compared to previous administrations when oil sold at a higher rate.
“I have charged all of you to defend the government vigorously and not allow any irresponsible and politically motivated statements to keep spreading falsehoods about this government,” he said.
“Information to the public should be better packaged; go on the offensive, we are proud of our achievements and we should blow our own trumpets.
“I want the Nigerian elites, please encourage them, to judge us fairly… the average production of oil in the country, from 1999 to 2014, was 2.1 million barrels per day (and) sold at an average price of $100.
“When we came, it collapsed to $37, $38 per barrel, you know it. And the militants were unleashed on the administration, and the production went down to half a million barrels per day.
“I want you to please reflect. What was the condition of the infrastructure then, in spite of those earnings? The roads, the rail was dead and there was no power; up till now, no power. Where does the money go?”
Buhari added that contrary to what obtained when he was military head of state when people were detained at will, he is “trying to follow the system” in fighting corruption. Now, I’m being called ‘baba go slow’,” he said.
The president further directed the release of funds for implementation of the federal government’s N2.3 trillion economic sustainability plan and for capital projects in the 2020 budget.
“I also enjoin ministers to ensure that funds released are utilised efficiently and transparently in implementing the programmes and projects under the line priority areas of government,” he said.
“On behalf of the people of Nigeria, I demand uttermost levels of performance, deliverables and results. I look forward to a result orientated year with tremendous benefits that will continue to change the lives of our people positively.”